There’s an incubus ravaging an area of Kenya, according to a news report. The Nairobian tells us of a woman who has confessed to an affair of sorts. Vacillating between confessing the spirit’s skill as a lover and calling the incidents rape, the story details that many houses in this part of Mombasa are haunted, and many women have reported unwanted sexual encounters by shadow beings. Large, male shadow beings.
Incubi (as well as their female counterparts, Succubi) are subjects you don’t see discussed much in paranormal circles. The obvious sexual taboos are part of that, clearly, but it goes deeper. While evil spirits that prey on victims sexually have existed in most cultures for thousands of years, we know now in the age of civilization that all-too-often these tales have been used to cover up illicit sexual activity or, worse, sexual abuse.
The story is usually something like this: The victim are asleep and then awakened by a figure who joins them in bed and then proceeds to either seduce or just sexually assault them outright. These beings are almost always the opposite gender, even though I’ve read of cases of same-gender incidents. (Again, almost always cover-ups for same-sex sexual abuse.) In Western cultures they have been romantacized a bit to include the seduction aspect, even meeting the victim in a social situation before sealing the deal and draining a bit of life force from them like a sexual lamprey.
What’s interesting there is how that description swerves into several other facets of paranormal activity. The fact that the occurrences happen in bed swings into “old hag” or sleep paralysis territory. The draining of life force is extremely similar to vampire lore, with a sexual seduction often worked into modern tales of vampiric attacks. One can almost look through the curtains of lore from the past and see how other legends, like the hag and vampires, were brought in to explain taboo sexual activity.
In modern times, sexual spirits have taken a bit of a back seat to other phenomena such as ghosts and possessions. Still, we have seen several landmark cases where a sexual aspect exists. The Doris Bither case (fictionalized in the classic film The Entity) is probably the best known. In that case there was absolutely no seduction, and much as seen in the film, the assaults did not happen from out of sleep, but rather when Bither (named Carla Moran in the film) was wide awake. The details of the case are covered quite well over at Ghost Theory.
This is also a place where paranormal theory begins to blur between what some would call “ghosts” and what others would call “demons.” While nobody was described as “possessed” in the Bither case, the activity could hardly be described as “ghostly” either. Despite the lights and other phenomena, and Bither’s description of the entities as “Asian men,” the activity matches the malevolence of demonic power, not the stuff of what we’d call ghosts.
In the case in Kenya, it’s referenced that many or most in that region are “rearing a djinn for financial success.” For those unfamiliar, “djinn” is the Islamic word for demon. The inference is that families are making deals with demons to achieve financial success. In demonology, we understand that is just an incredibly stupid thing to do. When inviting such forces into your life in trade, you don’t have control over what you trade… or that the forces will keep their side of the bargain.
Are these people paying for their deals with the sexual abuse of their daughters? Is this string of incidents in Kenya just a cover-up for sexual abuse or extramarital affairs in a staunchly Islamic and superstitious culture? If these events are sometimes real, are the otherworldly perpetrators demonic in nature? Given the centuries of similar stories from different cultures, can all instances of sexual contact from paranormal sources be explained away? Let us know your thoughts on this complex issue!